Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order last Thursday to open the fishing season early again this year to encourage residents to get outside and enjoy some fresh air at a safe social distance. Lamont issued a similar order at the start of the pandemic last March.
The typical start of the fishing season is the second weekend in April.
And on this perfect March day, folks all up and down the Farmington River took advantage of the sunshine to try and catch the first fish of the season.
“I came out for a little bit of R and R a little bit of fun. It’s an absolutely drop dead beautiful day,” said Ed Bowsza of East Windsor. “I spent a couple of hours out here just recharging.”
At a spot he gives a very impressive accolade.
Bowsza proclaimed, “it is probably the best trout fishery in the state of Connecticut.”
And, the trout are plentiful.
“We’ve been stocking trout for about 2-3 weeks now,” explained Mike Beauchene, a Supervising Fisheries Biologist with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “And while we don’t have everywhere stocked yet and we have lots of places to go, we’re hitting more and more every single day.”
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has released about 100,000 fish over the last couple of weeks from our three local hatcheries with another 200,000 still left to be distributed to Connecticut rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. This act is one the state has been doing for nearly 100 years when supply of fish started falling short of demand of our local fishermen.
“Some of our streams over the years with you know climate change or just habitat change in general from you know businesses being built and trees being cut down,” said Tom Chairvolotti, a Supervising Fisheries Biologist for Connecticut’s hatcheries. “It sort of changes the water quality to some degree and makes it a little less than perfect for babies but it’s more than suitable for larger fish to survive.”
But through an 18 month process of fertilizing and growing trout fish, the hatcheries are able to produce more than enough fish for everyone to enjoy.
“It took me about three casts to realize this is probably something I’ll do the rest of my life,” said Bowsza. “It’s pensive. It’s recharging. You’re out in nature. Everything you could ever want is right here.”
But before you cast a line, remember you do need a Connecticut state fishing license. For more information on how to obtain one, just visit https://ct.aspirafocus.com/internetsales.